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Celebrities Targeted: 5 Lessons We Can Learn from High-Profile Break-ins

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By: Editor
November 12, 2013
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Celebrities Targeted: 5 Lessons We Can Learn from High-Profile Break-ins

It’s strange to think that celebrities get robbed, especially since they have gated homes and security guards, but it happens more often than you may think. In fact, they may be more at risk: their homes contain more valuables and are often vacant. We've compiled a list of celebrities who were recently targeted. Hopefully we can learn from these unfortunate circumstances.

[Un]Welcomed Guest

Summary: Quamine Taylor was arrested after allegedly breaking into Sean “Diddy” Combs’ mansion in East Hampton, New York. He ate food, drank soda and liquor, and slept in one of the bedrooms. Taylor set off one of home’s alarm systems, but convinced the investigating officer that he had permission to be in the home. According to police reports, Taylor previously broke into the home. He also stated that he had been visiting the house periodically.

Takeaway: You could argue that Taylor may not have done any serious harm. He may not have taken any valuables, but it was certainly an intrusion of Combs’ space and privacy. Combs’ took the necessary measures by having a security system, which alerted the authorities about the intrusion. However, they were easily duped into thinking that Taylor was a welcome guest.

Burglars are not opposed to hitting the same place twice. If you’re ever the victim of a break-in, don’t assume you’re off the hook for future incidents. Protect your home with a good wireless home security system. We also suggest that you hide your valuables in inconspicuous locations, such as your kid’s room. Check out our tips from a burglar for more pointers.

Break Up the Party

Summary: The former NFL player Brian Holloway discovered through social media that his vacation home and been broken into and vandalized over Labor Day Weekend. The culprits: approximately 400 teenagers who took advantage of the empty residence to host an organized party. They caused at least $20,000 worth of damages.

Takeaway: A vacation home can be a great pleasure to own, but maintaining its security can be difficult. In Holloway’s case, a security system with cameras would have alerted him instantly of the incident. Through mobile alerts and a live video feed he would have been able to notify the authorities before the party got out of hand.

The Bling Ring

Summary: Starting in October 2008, a group of seven teenagers and young adults broke into the homes of several celebrities – including Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, and Orlando Bloom – in the Hollywood area. Dubbed “The Bling Ring,” these perpetrators walked away with approximately $3 million in cash and belongings during their crime spree, which lasted until August 2009.

Takeaway: While we have no definitive evidence, it seems like many of the celebrities’ homes were not equipped with home security, or they systems were unarmed at the time of the break-ins. The group of burglars had no trouble marching in and walking out with valuables. A 2009 Rutgers’ study reported that a cluster of homes reaps the benefit of just one of those homes having an alarm system, as a burglar will skip the neighborhood entirely. Perhaps this practice would have benefited this unfortunate group of A-listers.

The Bling Ring also shows that anyone can be a burglar. The door-to-door salesman at your door may seem nice, but it could also be a burglar scoping out to see if anyone is home.

Overshare No More

Summary: According to police, a 24-year old man broke into Kate Moss’ home and stole valuable pieces of art, including a Banksy piece. Kate Moss was at a party celebrating the launch of her new collection.

Takeaway: One of the biggest steps in ensuring social media security is to avoid announcing your location. A seemingly harmless post about heading to a party or going on a long vacation can tip off anyone that your home is empty. Celebrities are especially prone to this sort of ‘announcement,’ since their whereabouts are often public knowledge. Kate Moss may not have personally shared that she was going to be a party, but her fame made it public information. The burglar benefited from the opportunity.

Fatal Confrontation

Summary: Five young men entered Sean Taylor’s home intending to steal cash, while the NFL player was out of town for a game. To their surprise, Taylor was home. He confronted the group and was shot while they fled. Unfortunately, Taylor died a few days later.

Takeaway: Never confront a burglar. We can’t stress this enough. They don’t want to be seen, but if they’re detected or startled, their actions are highly unpredictable. Remember, burglars are only taking your possessions, which can be replaced. Your health and safety cannot.

Invest in Your Safety

Burglars choose their targets based on opportunity, so it comes down to homeowners to negate that opportunity. Stay safe, and take the necessary steps to protect your home. This can include turning the lights on or getting a team of security guards. If it’s within your budget, consider investing in a wireless home security system with 24/7 monitoring, there’s no better defense against burglars. There are also other simple steps you can take to protect your home.

Burglaries can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It doesn't matter if you’re a working the 9 to 5 or if you’re a millionaire in Hollywood. No one is immune.

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